The Best Drugstore Thermal Products to Protect Your Stands From Heat Styling This Winter

If you’re going to use one hair product, it should be something to protect your hair from the heat. “Think of it this way: would you ever put makeup on before you properly wash and moisturize your face?” says hairstylist Bridget Brager, who works with Kate Bosworth, Hailee Steinfeld, and Kiernan Shipka. “The ingredients in thermal protectors absorb into the hair shaft to nourish and create a barrier between your hair and hot tools, blow dryers, and even the sun, to prevent damage and give you a better result—it’s the first step to healthy hair!”

Using a thermal protection product is especially important in the winter months when most of us blow dry our locks more often. So, which one should you try? Since many drugstore formulas have the same active ingredients as higher ends brands—silicones, sunscreens, and moisturizers—you don’t have to break the bank to protect your strands. “It’s more about finding the one that gives you the result you want,” Brager says. Should you try a serum, spray, or lotion? How do you apply it for the best protection? You’ll find these answers, and the best drugstore formulas to try, above.